This is an extremely sad story, and one I can relate to as someone who is constantly capturing the sights of the City from every crazy angle. A Temple University student, now identified as Rebecca “Becca” Kim, was visiting friends at the Art Institute dorms at 16th and Chestnut Streets
She loved the beautiful skyline and saw through the window a different view of the City. The only way she could capture it was to sit on the window ledge to take advantage of the full view.
That decision cost her her life last night.
There’s the tiniest of ledges to sit on as the window butts out like a bay window here, about 2 feet from the facade, but as she struggled to get back inside with her puffy black coat on, she slipped and fell. The windows are on a spring mechanism, and perhaps that was one of the problems where she wasn’t able to get back inside as easily (but in reality it was supposed to keep you from getting out). But if you saw the ledge and you were young in love with your new City, adventurous, you might think you could do it, I could get a unique photo of Philadelphia, what could go wrong?
The scene was very chaotic as I arrived within minutes of the women falling. I had been at 18th and Chestnut checking out a few potential stories. Traffic was backed up as it was rush hour. At first one police car was speeding down Chestnut Street at 18th where I was standing, then a volley of lights blaring was to follow. It was rush hour and it was amazing to see how the cars waiting at lights and backed up along the street found themselves moving to the side to let the officers through. I knew that since the police were making their way down Chestnut Street instead of Market, the emergency must be on Chestnut and fairly close, and since so many emergency vehicles were headed that way, my curiosity naturally took me there.
When I first arrived I wasn’t sure what had happened, nor did the small crowd on the corners. I tweeted out a photo for my followers to avoid the area as all roads were closed near the incident. Traffic was backed up in the area, and if you had been the unlucky ones to be behind this bus you weren’t going anywhere as he couldn’t make it between the fire engine and the parked car.
When I arrived at the scene this is what I saw. The officers working feverishly on both women. It was very apparent that the women, who I later learned was the student, heart had stopped. They were doing CPR and press compressions over and over again. The police, and then the paramedics worked hard to save the young ladies life.
Then the police put the crime scene up and a couple police cars parked right in front of the incident. I
The crowd became aware that a women had either jumped or fell from the window onto a pedestrian walking by.
A man points up to the window where she fell. The window was now closed as it was on a spring lock I was told by a witness in the crowd.
The info was stunning, and difficult to comprehend.
After working on Rebecca Kim, the paramedics wheeled her to the ambulance,
they continued to massage her heart as they transported her along the very crowded sidewalk.
and loaded her into the ambulance outside of Uniqlo. She was wearing a big, puffy, black jacket and grey sweatpants. She looked for the most part at peace.
It was definitely very emotional for me. I did think about not shooting
the scene anymore, but I also felt it was news and necessary. I deleted
or didn’t submit any photos I thought were inappropriate, or cropped
them down just to capture the emotion on this officers face as they
loaded Rebecca Kim into the ambulance. It was obvious to me that she had passed away.
They continue to attend to the pedestrian who was hit by a falling Rebecca Kim, then after an additional five minutes they moved her towards her ambulance. Note the regular clothed people on the left, they must have been witnesses as they were beyond the yellow police lines.
As they wheeled her to the ambulance you can see her left hand is up, while she was being moved to the ambulance, she was moving her body and hands, obviously in a lot of pain.
She had a pinstriped women’s suit on, and everything was ordinary for that night for the Thursday commute back home, until the sky fell. RIP Rebecca “Becca” Kim. I immediately called my outlets and reported the story to them, Fox 29, Philly.com and PhillyMag.com
The UK Daily Mail
picked up a few photos from my wireservice that I submitted and has a much more detailed story of Rebecca HERE.
Kim graduated last June from Wissahickon High School in the Philly suburb
of Ambler. She was a pre-pharmacy student at Temple, according to her
Facebook page, which was posted in an article where my photos appear in the NY Daily News